When I was a child, we often suffered from power cuts, either by striking workers or storms. I didn’t begrudge the workers their rights and I thought storms were awesome, and so candles, and paraffin, or kerosene lamps would be lit. It changed the whole night’s activity, and for us as kids it was just fun, we built blanket cubbies, played hidey games, camped around the wood fire, or played board games by candle light. I never forgot the capacity of one candle to dispel the darkness, the single wick, luminescent, warm and glowing would light a whole room.
We too light a whole room when we have that inner glow of humility, grace, compassion, love and forgiveness. The heart when loving is luminescent. I’ve met many enlightened people along the way, and the reminder they impart is that we can glow when we are self-focussed but not self-centered, yet no one is perfect, but we still glow.
Light also helps us. The late Leonard Cohen put it beautifully when he wrote (Anthem): “Ring the bells that that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” That way we shine in the world. If we let light in, we share it.
There are different types of light, spiritual, philosophical, scientific, goodness, selflessness, sacrificial, knowledge … but the real light, the primary light, is love. Love shines, glows in the darkest places and moments of our lives, it nurtures us when received, and strengthens us when given. Such love is gift not possession, it is unattached, free of expectation, lacking judgmentalism and power. It seeks to heal and make whole. It shines, glows, even when we are broken, and that’s the best bit.